Ethiopia is most often considered the birthplace of coffee. Offering a huge variety of growing regions and beans, Ethiopia provides a wide range of complex coffees. Many coffee experts as well as coffee lovers consider Ethiopian coffees to be the best in the world.
About Ethiopia’s Coffee Industry
Coffee production in Ethiopia is a longstanding tradition which dates back dozens of centuries. Ethiopia is where Coffea arabica, the coffee plant, originates. The plant is now grown in various parts of the world; Ethiopia itself accounts for around 3% of the global coffee market. Coffee is important to the economy of Ethiopia; around 60% of foreign income comes from coffee, with an estimated 15 million of the population relying on some aspect of coffee production for their livelihood.
Coffee grown worldwide can trace its heritage back centuries to the ancient coffee forests on the Ethiopian plateau. There, legend says the goat herder Kaldi first discovered the potential of these beloved beans.
The story goes that that Kaldi discovered coffee after he noticed that after eating the berries from a certain tree, his goats became so energetic that they did not want to sleep at night.
“Ethiopia Genika” is a type of Arabica coffee of single origin grown exclusively in the Bench Maji Zone of Ethiopia. Like most African coffees, Ethiopia Guraferda features a small and greyish bean, yet is valued for its deep, spice and wine or chocolate-like taste and floral aroma.
Located in the west of the country at altitudes of 5,570-7,210 feet above sea level, the Gimbi region is well known for its wet-processed coffees. Varieties grown in Gimbi have a heavy body, medium to pointed acidity, and a nuanced flavor profile with a fruity finish. Gimbi coffees are an important part of many roasters’ blends, although they can also be gourmet single-origin coffees.
offees offer a complex, yet balanced, cup profile that does well in both filter and espresso. Certification options are plentiful, as well as processing techniques. Historically, Guji has always offered washed and naturals exclusively, but recently, producers started to produce honey’s as well.
Harar is in the Eastern highlands of Ethiopia. It is one of the oldest coffee beans still produced and is known for its distinctive fruity, wine flavour. The shells of the coffee bean are used in a tea called hasher-qahwa. The bean is medium in size with a greenish-yellowish colour. It has medium acidity and full body and a distinctive mocha flavour. Harar is a dry processed coffee bean with sorting and processing done almost entirely by hand. Though processing is done by hand, the laborers are extremely knowledgeable of how each bean is categorized.
Limu coffee is grown in the southwestern part of Ethiopia, at elevations between 3,600 and 6,200 feet. Considered a premium gourmet washed coffee, its varieties reveal a well-balanced body and low acidity. They are sharp-tasting with vibrant sweet and fruity flavor and traces of spice.
It is very likely that in and around this region is where coffee had its origins. Sidamo coffee is well-balanced with cupping notes exhibiting berries and citrus with complex acidity. The coffee hails from the province of Sidamo in the Ethiopian highlands at elevations from 1,500 up to 2,200 meters above sea level. At these elevations the coffee beans can be qualified as “Strictly High Grown” (SHG). Here the Ethiopian coffees grow more slowly and therefore have more time to absorb nutrients and develop more robust flavors based on the local climate and soil conditions. The most distinctive flavour notes found in all Sidamo coffees are lemon and citrus with bright crisp acidity. Sidamo coffee includes Yirgachefe Coffee and Guji Coffee. Both coffee types are very high quality.
Yirgacheffe is one of the subregions of Sidamo bordering the Great Rift Valley and a micro-region in its own right. The Yirgacheffe region is renowned for its wet-processed coffees with a rich body, fine acidity, and an intense flavor.
Top grade Yirgacheffes have a clean taste and bright acidity accompanied by complex floral and citrus notes such as jasmine and lemongrass. Its flavor profile is similar to that of Panamanian Geisha coffee. Connoisseurs consider Yirgacheffe to be one of the best arabica coffees in the world.